Tue, Dec 03, 2019 - Page 8 News List

The Xi Jinping Revolution is here

By Nigel Li 李澤霖

It is tempting to return to paradigms we are familiar with. It is simple to divide the world between good and evil; strong and weak, right and wrong. The tensions that hold the US and China hostage make one wonder whether we are returning to the bipolar world order that dominated much of the 20th century.

It is necessary to look beyond the Cold War framework and reassess our optics.

In principle, the US, both its government and the private sector, had little interest in economic development within the Soviet Union; that is, of course, a different case in the Sino-American relationship today.

The approach to containing the Soviet Union was accepted as a rule in US policy. However, dealing with China in the 21st century has generated divergent approaches.

A strong China that is economically prosperous for its own people and the world is beneficial for everyone. There should be no desire to destroy and threaten the livelihood of the Chinese people; the country’s unprecedented growth since Deng Xiaoping’s (鄧小平) reforms is remarkable and deserves admiration.

However, the China that has emerged today is one that seeks to strengthen autocratic rule and normalize oppression not in the interests of people’s livelihoods, but for the longevity of the state. We can observe this motive in the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) rhetoric and within its foreign and domestic interests.

The CCP has often evoked the need to reverse the “Century of Humiliation” that China had to endure to justify the government’s increasingly assertive actions.

From the building of artificial islands in disputed areas of the South China Sea to the clamping down on dissidents in Hong Kong, the CCP has sought to straighten anything that was once crooked in its past.

What emerges is a mentality of resentment. Seeking to revise the “status quo,” China’s revisionist agenda likens itself to Germany’s rejection of Versailles when the country defied its stipulations in the name of reversing humiliating reparations.

This passion of resentment tends to go beyond ending perceived unfair constraints. Appeasement will only embolden a revisionist state’s resolve and threaten the security of the world.

To quote former British prime minister Winston Churchill: “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

It is therefore ever more important for the international community to combat China’s nefarious actions if the West wishes to protect the liberties it holds dear.

The question becomes not who will be eaten last, but how to tame the crocodile.

The CCP’s treatment of the Uighur minority in Xinjiang should not be ignored either.

On Nov. 16, the New York Times released a report on leaked internal Chinese documents containing information on the mass detentions of Uighurs.

One documented President Xi Jinping (習近平) stating in a secret party speech that the counterterrorism campaign in the region “must be as harsh as them,” and “show absolutely no mercy.”

It is precisely this absence of mercy that has sent 1 million Muslims to re-education camps where they are, according to the Council on Foreign Relations, “forced to pledge loyalty to the CCP and renounce Islam.”

For a country that sees itself as the beacon of the 21st century, such actions reflect the brutality of regimes that the world gladly left behind in the 20th century.

This story has been viewed 1836 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top